One of my favorite pick-me-up products lately has been the SNP Bird’s Nest Aqua Eye Patches. They’re cheap — 60 for $12.35 on Amazon — and add just enough “treat yo self” at the end of a long day to keep me awake and working when all I want is to go to bed.
What are they? Just yin- (or yang-?) shaped hydrogel undereye patches soaked in slimy essence. These ones happen to count Swiftlet Nest Extract among their many ingredients. I’m not sure how they extract the Swiftlet Nest Extract, nor what exactly is extracted FROM the nests, nor why I’m supposed to be excited to put it on my face. I feel like bird nests probably aren’t … clean? Like, AT ALL? I don’t know, maybe bird spit or proteins from their excrement are good for skin or whatever. Or maybe they’re gently acidic! Who knows! I honestly don’t care enough to research it, as it’s present in small quantities and mostly seems like a gimmick ingredient. If you care, Go Forth and Google. (Or better yet, Go Forth and PubMed.) ANYWAY, it also contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid (which we know attract water to the skin — yay, humectants!), aloe, allantoin, and some parabens (which may be an issue for you, but I figure I probably eat way more endocrine disruptors than could possibly be in this eye patch). It does also have added fragrance, but it’s so subtle — and far enough away from my nose — that I can’t smell it while I’m wearing it (and I get zero irritation if I accidentally get a bit of the serum in my eyes).
I strongly prefer hydrogel masks to sheet masks, as the texture is squishier, tends to stay put better, and — in my experience — is a heckuva lot more hydrating. Speaking of hydration, there CAN be too much of a good thing — the first few times I used it, the patches were so serum’d that they had a tendency to slip about a half-inch down my cheeks every few minutes. Within a few uses, though, the mask-to-serum ratio in the little tub evened out and I got the perfect blend of “hydrating and wet” plus “actually stays put.” I’m a little over halfway through at this point (?), and the serum is still going strong — no dried-out sad little hydrogel patches here!
SNP could easily have marketed this as part of the ~*~Mermaids!!!~*~ trend, as the aqua iridescence and sparkle are decidedly siren-of-the-sea-y. (The hydrogel has mica embedded, but I haven’t found that it leaves glitter behind on my cheeks. Thank goodness — this is supposed to be RELAXING, and getting Craft Measles isn’t likely to put me in a state of relaxation.) Personally, though, I think it looks like what an exhausted Star Trek costume designer would come up with if the producer told her they need costumes for sixty extras who are supposed to represent an aquatic species: “Slap these on their faces and put them in shimmering blue-green leotards” would definitely be MY solution to that conundrum, at least. But whether you want to be Star Trek Alien Babe or Mermaid With Fantasy Eczema, they’re a fun way to confuse your
cats friends (because we all have friends and not just cats, right? … Right?). (My cat: “I’M YOUR FRIEND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU PLZ GIVE TREATS NOW”)
Is this going to reverse wrinkles or fine lines? No, of course not. It’s neither a TARDIS nor retinol. It WILL temporarily hydrate dry undereye skin — but mostly, it feels really good after a long day — cooling and wet, with no-fuss cling.
THE VERDICT: Good! I’ll ABSOLUTELY shell out for another jar of this whenever I run out. I’m not noticing any long-term benefits, but I can’t discount how good it feels on my tired undereyes, how much it soothes my late-summer dryness, or the tiny boost it gives my soul on a long day. All that for 20 cents a pop? Yeah, that’s fine by me.
Got a favorite gel eye patch? Have you googled Swiflet Nest Extract yet? Do you even PubMed? Discuss!